Starting a business with a disability

Do you want to start doing business and receive Wajong or WIA disability benefits? And do you need support? There are schemes to help you start your business. Sometimes your income as an entrepreneur affects the amount of your benefit. In this article you can read about the possibilities and what to look out for.

Starting your own business while on benefits

Are you the recipient of Wajong, WIA, WAO, WAZ, or Sickness Benefits Act benefits? Then you must first discuss your plans with your employment consultant at the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). You submit your plans and together you explore whether entrepreneurship is for you. Then make arrangements with your counsellor about the route and discuss the conditions. The income from your business is often deducted from your benefit.

Advance payment

Often, the benefit you receive is an advance payment for that year. The UWV only calculates in the following calendar year what amount you were really entitled to. The income from your business is then divided by the number of months you worked in your business. This calculates how much you were entitled to per month and whether you received too much or too little. Discuss this carefully with your UWV supervisor to avoid any surprises.


Do you need money to start your business and canot get a bank loan? UWV may help you by providing you with a loan or various allowances.

  • Start-up loan (starterskrediet): a loan to pay the costs for resources.
  • Preparation loan (voorbereidingskrediet): a loan to pay for costs you incur in preparing to start your business.

It is also sometimes possible to get reimbursement from UWV for aids or extra support. For example, an adapted office chair or a sign language interpreter.

Insurance in case of illness or incapacity for work

With your own business, you are not automatically insured for benefits in case of illness or incapacity for work. You have to arrange this yourself.

Do you encounter strict acceptance rules or high premiums with insurance companies? Then check with the UWV Employee Insurance Agency what types of insurance (in Dutch) are available in your situation.

Tax relief for new companies

With the tax relief for new companies (startersaftrek), you pay less income tax. A number of conditions apply. For instance, you have to stick to the hours criterion. A starter with a disability may qualify for a reduced hours criterion (in Dutch). Instead of the usual 1,225 hours, you must then spend at least 800 hours a year on your business.

Assistance and support

There are several initiatives available to assist and support you as a new business owner with a disability. For example, Onbeperkt Ondernemend (in Dutch). Talented and motivated jobseekers with a disability and entrepreneurs with a disability get support from a mentor.

Interest group Incluvisie (in Dutch) also helps you explore entrepreneurial opportunities. They provide information and put you in contact with other entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Running a business from your home

Starting from your own home may be a good and safe choice for you. If you need adaptations to your workspace, you may have already done them at home. Consult your plan with your municipality. Sometimes permission is needed or laws and regulations apply, such as for a shop at home.

UWV offers various facilities (in Dutch) to help you work from home. Such as appliances and workplace adjustments. 

Transport to work

If you do not start from home, or if you have to go somewhere for an appointment, there are arrangements for transport (in Dutch). For example, compensation for taxi costs.


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General starter information

In addition to the above topics, as a starter you will also face: